• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

gifts

Ottawa’s Tried & True Shopping

By Chris Lackner

It takes creativity, adaptability, and perseverance to remain a prominent shopping destination amid ever-shifting changes in taste, trends, and clientele. As the country turns 150, we highlight top shops in the capital that have stood the test of time and have thrived for 20 years or more.

Kaliyana

Photo: Ben Welland

Kaliyana ArtwearSince 1987

Kaliyana Artwear offers innovative clothing for women, with sizes 6 to 22 available. Their contemporary, avant-garde designs are inspired by Japanese minimalism, simple and timeless, and driven by unique cuts, textures, fabrics, colours, and prints. Think unstructured shapes with lots of pockets, asymmetric lines, and layers. Most importantly, think comfort. Also, get footloose with international footwear products, including Arche shoes from France and Trippen from Germany.

515 Sussex Dr., 613-562-3676

Howard Fine JewellersSince 1967

No diamond in the rough, this family-owned store is celebrating its 50th anniversary! For one-third of Canada’s existence, Howard Fine Jewellers & Custom Designers has showcased timeless pieces of jewellery from around the world. Its showroom is home to a wide selection of treasures by Canadian and international designers, including Hearts on Fire, Rolex, Tudor, Tacori, Jack Kelege, Jeff Cooper and Furrer Jacot. Howard also offers custom design work and on-site repairs.

220 Sparks St., 613-238-3300

The Gifted Type

Photo: Ben Welland

The Gifted Type ~ Since 1981

The Gifted Type’s products go well beyond glossy print, with an eclectic collection of cards, novelty items, children’s toys, and other small gifts. Formerly known as Mags + Fags (which first opened in the ByWard Market), they have held court on Elgin Street since 1982 — amid a sea change in tenants and residents. Sister store boogie + birdie is right next door, showcasing rare jewellery (including handmade local designers), bath and body products, fashion items, baby clothes, children’s toys, candles, and Turkish towels. 

The Gifted Type, 254 Elgin St., 613-233-9651; boogie + birdie, 256 Elgin St., 613-232-2473

Snow GooseSince 1963

This purveyor of genuine Aboriginal Canadian fine arts and crafts from the Arctic and Canada’s West Coast has been a fixture on Sparks Street since 1963. You’ll find original works of art, including soapstone carvings and masks, along with a large selection of dreamcatchers, original Inuit prints and carvings, Indigenous jewellery designs, and leather goods.

83 Sparks St., 613-232-2213

Davidson's Jewellers

Photo: Ben Welland

Davidson’s JewellersSince 1939

This Ottawa jewel started to shine when founder Eastman Davidson set up a watch and clock repair shop in the family home before opening a storefront in the Glebe. His daughter Judy carried on the family tradition, and their namesake business moved to its current location in 1964. It continues to specialize in things that are shiny, but it has also crafted a glowing reputation for business ethics, service, and quality — not to mention a penchant for giving back to the community. Shine on, you crazy diamond!

790 Bank St., 613-234-4136

J.D. AdamSince 1988

This colourful, dynamic shop in the Glebe showcases an assortment of high-quality kitchenware and home accessories from over 100 high-quality companies such as Emile Henry, KitchenAid, and Cuisinart. It also carries bakeware, tableware, garden and patio accessories, ceramics, and chef gadgets. Smaller fare — including specialty food items, candles and soaps, bottles, vases, and cookbooks — make this a prime gift destination.

795 Bank St., 613-235-8714

Ma CuisineSince 1996

“Cook with it, serve with it, eat with it, Ma Cuisine has it,” they proclaim. And with good reason. Looking for a genuine Japanese turning vegetable slicer? They have that. A butter knife that absorbs the heat from your hand, making it easier to slice through? They have that too. And good ol’ cookie sheets and roasting pans? Check. Whether conventional cook or culinary mad scientist, you’re shopping in the right place. Ma Cuisine is a kitchen supply store with more than the usual muffin tins and rolling pins.

269 Dalhousie St., 613-789-9225

Manhattan West

Photo: Ben Welland

Manhattan West ~ Since 1992

You can save your travel dollars by visiting Manhattan in Canada’s capital. The same mother-and-daughter team have brought Manhattan to Ottawa for over 20 years, showcasing unique, edgy, and exclusive fashions from around the world. The tradition began at their former market location, Manhattan Marque, and continues at their Westboro shop, Manhattan West. You can travel the world of fashion by visiting this charming boutique, where you’ll find contemporary designs from New York, L.A., Italy, France, Germany, and Denmark. A one-stop shop for everything from casual to business wear, dresses to jeans, and exclusive accessories to stylish footwear.

322 Richmond Rd, 613-695-0517

Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’sSince 1977

Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s unique collection of toys is probably the envy of Santa’s elves. Their original location opened in 1977 with the same product focus the local chain has today: well-made, creative toys that spark children’s imagination. They pledge a commitment to toys that meet a high standard for “both play and educational value” and “trusty old favourites that have stood the test of time.” Their classic products are showcased alongside new, innovative playthings. These toys are not only for the young, but also for the young at heart; a visit to Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s will make adults feel like a kid all over again. Locations include The Glebe, Bayshore Shopping Centre, Rideau Shopping Centre, Place d’Orléans Mall, and Westboro.

809 Bank St., 613-234-3836

The PaperySince 1986

This colourful store in the Glebe has been hosting a non-stop paper party for 30 years. Gift-giving is made easy with The Papery’s array of greeting and holiday cards, artistic giftware, gift wrap, tissue paper (over 50 shades), ribbons, and gift boxes. They even offer a wrapping service. Party plan with napkins and plates and seasonal decor. Life plan with calligraphy supplies, agendas, journals, envelopes, and unique, vibrant colour stock. Plan for fun with colouring books, stickers, recipe books, rubber stamps, and origami to entertain the kids.

850 Bank St., 613-230-1313

Kunstadt Sports

Photo: Ben Welland

Kunstadt SportsSince 1988

Kunstadt Sports started as a small business in Kanata run by a clan of athletes and sports enthusiasts. They even operated out of the family’s home basement! It has grown to three thriving sports-equipment stores spread across Ottawa. Given our wintery capital, it specializes in snow sports, but Kunstadt also covers other seasons with an all-star lineup of equipment — from cycling and tennis gear to running shoes. Servicing for skis, snowboards, racquets, and bikes is available on-site, and Kunstadt even sells their own brands of skis and bikes. Their employees are athletes, too, as Kunstadt commits to employing accomplished skiers, bikers, tennis players, and fitness gurus. Sounds like a game plan for success.

680 Bank St., 613-233-4820; 462 Hazeldean Rd., 613-831-2059; 1583 Bank St., 613-260-0696

Octopus BooksSince 1969

This independent bookstore has multiple tentacles. It specializes in alternative and left-wing contemporary and classic books on subjects including politics, environmentalism, feminism, health and Indigenous studies. Author readings, book launches, and community classroom nights (guest lectures, debates, and more) make this bookstore an event destination. The original location opened in 1969 before moving to the Glebe 20 years ago, and the downtown location opened in 2012.

116 Third Ave., 613-233-2589; 251 Bank St., 613-688-0752

Canmore Shopping: Top Picks

November 3, 2016
By Where writers

Canmore, shopping

Smart Toys

Hi Jinx owner Sonja Jovanovic believes fun and games should be healthy pursuits. “We hand-pick the most unique, engaging and safe toys,” she says. Brands for infants to pre-schoolers like Rolligo and Bugs in the Kitchen develop communication, cognitive, emotional, physical and sensory abilities. (more…)

Gift-List Must: Backpacking Beauty Products

Dec. 12, 2015
By Morgan Kwan

Editor’s note: We’re stoked that Morgan Kwan has joined Where Canadian Rockies as a guest blogger! This Calgarian not only has an entertaining and insightful outdoors blog, but now she and her friend Andrea have their own beauty product line. Read on to meet Morgan and get inspiration for your Christmas gift ideas!

BowHut-39

It’s not very often that you find 20 women of different backgrounds and experience levels marching up a mountain, laughing and encouraging each other to work through the fatigue. Experiences like this are at the core of Beauty In The Backcountry, my blog that strives to breakdown the intense outdoor sports stereotype and inspire people, especially women, to push themselves and give these activities a try.

(more…)

Hot Shopping

By Suzanne Rent

dart-gallery-4-resized

FOR THE LOVE OF ART

Lovers of local art will enjoy the offerings at The Dart Gallery on Portland Street in Dartmouth. Owner Jane MacDougald sources local artwork such as paintings, pottery, jewelry, and collectibles. The gallery also hosts art shows. Art consultation services, installation, and lease-to-purchase financing options available.

STOP AND SHOP

Mic Mac Mall

Mic Mac Mall

• With more than 120 stores, Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth offers a variety of high-end retailers and special services perfect for seasonal shopping, anchored by iconic department store The Bay. Three floors of shops includes American Eagle Outfitters, Bath and Bodyworks, Lush, and Forever 21.
• Situated in the West End, Halifax Shopping Centre is the city’s largest shopping mall with 160 stores and services. Shop for a winter wardrobe at Banana Republic, American Eagle Outfitters, or Cleo. Find matching shoes and handbag at Aldo, Naturalizer, or Coach. One-stop-holiday shopping for everyone on your gift list.

GIFTS WITH PURPOSE

Jennifer's of Nova Scotia

Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia

P’lovers, with locations on South Park Street in Halifax and Queen Street in Dartmouth, is the perfect destination for the shopper who likes to make purchases that are sensitive to the Earth. The product line includes eco-friendly art, clothing, books, stationary, home décor, jewelry, and items for the outdoors.
• Since 1978, Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia on Spring Garden Road has been a big supporter of Atlantic Canadian artisans who make unique gifts and works of art. The selection includes pottery, glass, wood, pewter, jewelry, and food; you’re sure to find something special for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

STORY SELLERS

Woozles

Woozles

Woozles on Birmingham Street is Canada’s oldest children’s bookstore. It boasts shelves of books that inspire any imagination. Titles include those for baby’s first year of reading to those for young adults. Beyond books, Woozles hosts Battle of the Books, book clubs, book fairs, and more.
• For comic lovers, Strange Adventures, Comics and Curiosities on Prince Street in Halifax is a treasure trove of new and old comics, games, clothing, toys, and more. The award-winning comic book store also hosts Free Comic Book Day.

FULL OF FLAVOUR

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

For the foodie on your shopping list, find savoury gifts of olive oil and vinegars at Liquid Gold in The Hydrostone and Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. All of the oils in store are ultra premium and made with the best crops in any season. The balsamic vinegars are made in a family-owned facility in Moderna, Italy. Pestos, tapenades, mustards, and confits will help finish off the shopping for any choosy cook.

EDITOR’S CHOICEFreak-Lunchbox-Exterior-South-2-resized

For gifts for those with a sweet tooth and a huge sense of fun, visit Freak Lunchbox at its Barrington Street location in Halifax or in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford. This colourful store is bursting with nostalgic novelties such as Pez and Pop Shoppe. Grab a bag of bulk candies in myriad varieties or check out the bobbleheads of cultural icons.

 

Hot Dates: Great Easter Gifts

Great Easter gifts in Vancouver

Nothing says Easter like a basket overflowing with mouth-watering chocolates from Purdy’s. If you’re counting calories and have to skip the bonbons, ask the Easter Bunny to deliver a seasonal charm from Thomas Sabo instead. Either way, it’s a sweet treat.—Sheri Radford

Hot Dates: Canadian-Designed Jewellery for Valentine’s Day

Treat your sweetie to jewellery by Canadian designer Anne Sportun

February 14

It’s that time of year again: Valentine’s Day, when Cupid takes flight and the air smells of red roses and chocolate. Treat your number-one love to a gift that lasts a lifetime with beautiful Canadian-designed bling by Anne Sportun, an East Coast jewellery designer who has wowed with her stunning designs since the early ‘90s. Peruse her pieces at Kiss & Makeup.—Jennifer Patterson


Hot Dining: Gift Ideas from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters

Bags of gourmet coffee from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters make a great gift

For the caffeine lover on your list, consider a coffee subscription from 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. The company ships three bags of ethically traded, locally roasted beans every month for its three-, six- or 12-month gift packages, and the first shipment arrives in an engraved cedar box worthy of sitting unwrapped under the tree.—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Shopping: Holiday Charms from Thomas Sabo

Thomas Sabo holiday charms

The season’s a-jingle with sounds of joy as loved ones open gifts filled with dazzling charm bracelets and necklaces from Thomas Sabo. Choose from hundreds of different charms—there’s something for every special occasion—including holiday-themed gingerbread men, angels, snowflakes and good ol’ Saint Nick. On that note, with such thoughtful gift giving, you might just secure a spot on Santa’s nice list.—Nicole Capelo

Hot Shopping: Honey from Mellifera Bees is the Perfect Gift

Cardamom-infused honey by Mellifera Bees

The growing buzz over the lip-smacking honey from Mellifera Bees has locals lusting for a jar of this West Coast nectar. The honey comes in three different infusions: vanilla bean, lemon and cardamom (pictured), which has additional spice notes of black pepper, cinnamon and orange rind. Enjoy it drizzled over vanilla ice cream, or stirred into a mug of hot mulled wine—yum! Available at Vancouver Urban Winery and Edible Canada.—Jennifer Patterson

Hot Dining: Buy Cookies for Charity

These cookies make great gifts

How often does a snack do triple duty? This one tastes great, makes an ideal stocking stuffer and raises money for charity. Until Dec. 31, gourmet cranberry cookies tucked into cute red piggy banks are available for $5 at National Bank locations. Proceeds go to Breakfast Clubs of Canada, which provides nutritious meals to thousands of school children nationwide. Stop by a branch of National Bank (555 Burrard St. or 5811 No. 3 Rd., Richmond) to pick up one—or a few—and you’ll be as popular as Santa.—Sheri Radford

Hot Shopping: Give the Gift of Jewellery

Rings from Pandora

When it comes to gifts, nothing tops jewellery. Show that special someone they’re loved with a brilliant bangle, or reward personal success with a new pendant.

  • Keir Fine Jewellery offers a wide range of Canadian diamonds—complete with the laser-engraved maple leaf or polar bear—as well as gold, titanium and pearl pieces.
  • Ruby Tuesday keeps it casual with playful necklaces, bracelets and earrings by Canadian designers.
  • Pandora (pictured) fans come for the charm collection but stay for the stunning assortment of gold and silver bling.—Jennifer Patterson

Hot Dates: Get Started on Holiday Shopping at Two Vancouver Markets

Tasci Handmade Glass, available at Circle Craft Christmas Market

November 7 to 11

‘Tis the season for markets aplenty—Christmas is, after all, just around the corner—so start tucking away gifts early to avoid holiday stress. The Circle Craft Christmas Market (Nov. 7 to 11) features goodies by Canadian artisans (including Tasci Handmade Glass, pictured), and Make It! Vancouver (Nov. 8 to 11) highlights one-of-a-kind handmade items.—Jennifer Patterson